Hay House Radio Episode Recap
- Episode Name: “Blood Sugar and Your Mental Health”
- Live Broadcast: October 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Summary Re-cap
How you see the world, how your mind works, your moods, your cravings…all of these things depend on your blood sugar. So what are the implications for gut health and mental health? Neurofeedback expert and Nutritional Consultant, Nora Gedgaudas, reveals how to balance your body and brain with key nutrition and lifestyle shifts.Special Guest: Nora Gedgaudas
Nora Gedgaudas is a board-certified nutritional consultant and a board-certified clinical neurofeedback specialist with over 20 years of clinical experience.
A recognized authority on ketogenic, ancestrally based nutrition, she is a popular speaker and educator and the author of the best selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind, as well as Rethinking Fatigue.
Her newest book, Primal Fat Burner: Live Longer, Slow Aging, Super-Power Your Brain, and Save Your Life With A High Fat, Low-Carb Paleo Diet has been lauded by best selling author and journalist, Nina Teicholz as “a unique and profound contribution to the field.”
Weekly Program: Primal Restoration™
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Symptoms of Poor Blood Sugar Balance Include:
- Brain fog
- Chronic stress and overwhelm
- Cold hands and feet
- Difficulty making decisions
- Feeling tired after meals
- Immune problems
- Irritability, especially when hungry (hangry!)
- Lack of willpower
- Sleep problems (falling asleep, staying asleep)
What is Blood Sugar and How Do You Stabilize It?
When we talk about blood sugar, we are talking about the monosaccharide, glucose. We’ve been told that the body and brain run on glucose as a sense of fuel. Nora says this is only true if you’ve metabolically adapted yourself to be dependent upon sugar as a source of fuel.
Sugar is inherently damaging to the body and brain because it stimulates the release of insulin and glycation, which can damage the body. Glycation occurs when sugars in the bloodstream combine with fats and proteins throughout the body, especially in the nerve fibers, and cause them to become sticky, misshapen and malfunction). The end result is that they reduce our health and longevity. Glycation creates advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are inflammatory, create fight or flight states and increase anxiety.
Sugar and carbs burn hot and fast, so you have to replenish them properly. Whole grains, white and brown rice, potatoes, legumes, are like kindling, while bread, cereal, white rice, sugar, fruit, and sugary snacks are like crumpled paper added to a fire. They burn really quickly. If all you had to fuel a wood stove was kindling and paper, you’d sit in front of it with the door open all day, continuously preoccupied with filling the fire with kindling.
What if, instead of keeping your body fueled with kindling, you used a big log? Something that didn’t have to be replenished all the time? Dietary fat is the big log. It’s plentiful, reliable, stable and an efficient form of fuel. It burns aerobically, in a prolonged and sustained manner, even in the absence of regular meals. The average person has somewhere between 100,000 – 150,000 calories of body fat in their bodies that can sustain them between meals – only if you’ve trained your body to use fat as fuel instead of glucose.
Top 9 Steps for Balancing Your Blood Sugar and Improving Your Moods and Brain Health
#1 – Eat Good Fat
The food industry bamboozled us when they influenced researchers to produce studies blaming fat for cholesterol problems and weight gain. Dr. Paul Dudley Whit (personal physician to President Eisenhower), author of the first medical textbook on coronary heart disease, watched coronary thrombosis go from obscurity in 1911 to one of the leading causes of death by the 1950’s. In his observation, it wasn’t the consumption of animal protein or healthy fats creating the problem. He felt that the only thing that had changed in this time was the increase in dietary sugar and “bad” fats (refined vegetable oils).
As new research comes in, we are now realizing that our brains – one of the most important organs for quality of life – run on fat. More importantly, your body and brain are inseparable, so your body also runs on fat!
Some of the best fats are from organic, grass or pasture fed animals, like duck fat, chicken schmaltz, lard, beef tallow, buffalo tallow, or grass-fed, organic cultured ghee. Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are wonderful as well and are unrefined. For other plant fats, look for “unrefined” on the label.
#2 – Avoid Bad Fats
This includes refined fats, like trans-fats and refined oils, like vegetable oil, corn oil, and canola oil or any oil that is labeled “refined.”. It also includes fats from factory farmed conventional animals and GMO (genetically modified organism) plants. These are the damaging fats that harm the liver, body and brain.
#3 – Avoid Sugar
Sugar and carbs are instigators of insulin production and glycation, thereby reducing longevity. Nora feels that sugar consumption in any quantity causes damage and dysregulation in the body. This includes white, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, agave (which is worse than high fructose corn syrup!), and even less refined sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and fruit. According to Nora, the fructose in fruit is 20 – 30 times more glycating (damaging to your body) than glucose by itself. If you want some occasional fruit, some berries can be a good option.
#4 – Avoid Carbs (Including Grains, Legumes and Starchy Vegetables)
There is no established dietary need for utilizable carbohydrates (any carb that isn’t fiber). We can use proteins and fats to produce all of the nutrients the body needs that could come from utilizable carbohydrates. While some experts feel that we need carbohydrates to produce serotonin (the feel good/happiness hormone) and melatonin (the sleep hormone), Nora suggests that it’s not required for serotonin. If you are relying on carbohydrates to jack up serotonin (which it can, temporarily), the carbohydrates are giving your brain nothing for the manufacture of it’s healthy structure. Grain-and legume-heavy diets ultimately don’t support serotonin production because they tend to be tryptophan-poor diets.
#5 – Go Organic
Organically grown foods allow us to avoid toxic glyphosate, an herbicide that is potentially carcinogenic and strips the body of it’s important minerals.
#6 – Heal Leaky Gut
When your gut is leaky, an inflammatory response is created in the body, which recruits the immune system. This can become a vicious cycle leading to immune problems, fatigue, and problems with anxiety, depression, brain fog, and memory challenges. Bone broth is incredible for helping your gut heal.
#7 – Consume Organic Grass/Pasture Fed Animal Protein
Avoid factory farmed, conventional animals, which are inhumanely raised, injected with antibiotics and hormones, and don’t even eat their native diets (their diet is often GMO foods that aren’t meant for their digestive system). When studies show that animal protein causes health issues, they are usually talking about factory farmed conventional animals. Instead, choose humanely raised animals who are out on grass or pasture, eating their native diet and not being injected with antibiotics or hormones.
Instead of expensive and popular muscle meats (e.g., ribeye, breast) – which are actually less nutritious, choose the cheaper cuts, like shank, legs and thighs. These meats have more nutrients and allow you to eat more nose to tail, reducing waste.
One of the most nutritious parts of the animal are the organ meats, like the liver, heart and kidney. Organ meats have vitamin C and all of the B vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Here’s a recipe for the Best Liver Pate Ever!
#8 – Reconsider Statins
Cholesterol is not “bad.” When cholesterol shows up in the body, it’s there to help put out the fire of inflammation. It also supports the body’s mineral balance and is essential for your brain health and moods. A great metaphor is that cholesterol is like firemen coming to put out the fire of inflammation in your body. It’s not that we want to get rid of the firemen. We want to find out what’s causing inflammation and work at that level (the root cause). Statins have been found to be damaging to brain health, while offering little value to helping the body heal.
#9 – Crush Cravings by Turning Your Body Into A Fat-Burner.
The more your body gets used to using fat as a source of fuel, the less you’ll find yourself needing to snack. You may find that you have less cravings and that you can sleep easily through the night, without waking up due to low blood sugar. The key is consistency. The more you can stick to healthy fats as a primary source of calories, the more you teach your body to use efficient logs to fuel the fire, rather than quick-burning and inefficient kindling.
So What’s On Your Plate?
A great meal might include a good portion of green, leafy vegetables, a small portion of animal protein and some healthy fats, like organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or better yet, Nora’s favorite, duck fat!
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